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Greater Flexibility and More Tools for Beg. Farmers
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The changes in eligibility announced will increase access for farmers and ranchers to FSA loans and credit assistance.

Source: USDA Farm Services AgencyContact: Ray Ellenberger at 608-662-4422, ext. 103

USDA Announces Greater Flexibility and Additional Tools for Beginning Farmers

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has recently announced a new rule that expands loan opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, while also establishing a new Land Contract Guarantee Program. The rule provides additional flexibility allowing FSA loan officers to consider all prior farming experience, including on-the-job training and formal education, when determining eligibility for FSA's farm operating and ownership loans. It also expands a previous pilot program, the Land Contract Guarantee Program, from six states to all 50 states. This program is designed to encourage farmers and ranchers to sell their property to beginning and socially disadvantaged (SDA) farmers and ranchers through the use of seller financing.

As a national leader in providing access to capital to our next generation of farmers and ranchers, FSA unveils another option for landowners to consider when transitioning land to beginning farmers. USDA continues to find ways to improve our services for farmers and ranchers by streamlining processes, accelerating delivery, and using innovative solutions to 21st century agricultural challenges. These improvements demonstrate FSA's commitment to helping the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers participate in our nation’s agricultural economy. The new flexibility also enlarges the pool of potential farmland buyers, which is important to young, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers.

The changes in eligibility announced will increase access for farmers and ranchers to FSA loans and credit assistance. The new rule enables landowners to sell their farmland to the next generation on a contract for deed with a 90-percent guarantee against losses to the seller. Alternatively, the agency can provide a guarantee of three years' amortized loan installments, plus payment of real estate taxes and hazard insurance premiums for the same three-year period.

More information on the new Land Contract Guarantee Program and the other changes are available at local FSA offices nationwide. Information about Farm Loan Programs and FSA loan qualifications can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov.